One of the things you learn early on in a fast is that you have to slow down. This is difficult at any point in the year, but even more so at the beginnning of it (at least for me) because there is so much to do. I feel like I’m already behind on a few things. I’m looking at my syllabi and thinking about how I’ll have to frontload as much of my studying, reading, etc as possible so as not to fall behind at the end of the semester (like I did last fall).
All of this is going on while my body is still adjusting to a significantly lower calorie count than I have been providing it with. (I overdid it during Christmas break in anticipation of the fast. Oops…)
But no matter where you start out physically on a fast, you’re reducing your intake once you get into it. You have to slow down. You also have to reorder your schedule a little. You have to go to bed a little (or a lot) earlier. You might have to sleep a little later. Maybe eat small portions throughout the day to keep you going instead of two or three meals.
The most important thing you have to reprioritize is your prayer time. If you’re not already in the habit of praying first thing in the morning, fasting will certainly bring this blunder to the forefront. It has with me. Wednesday, I started my day with some prayer and worship and the day went great. I had some extra energy, I had time to spare, I was in a better mood. Thursday I allowed myself an extra 15 minutes of sleep past my alarm and I was behind all morning, achey most of the day, and almost reluctant to find prayer time the rest of the day. I did find time to read my Bible.
As my pastor says, “If you’re not eating, and you’re not praying, you’re just going hungry.”
The point of fasting is to reexamine your hunger for God and put it in front of things of this world, ie: food. A great place to start is by committing the first part of your day to the Lord the way you’re committing the first part of the year to Him. Then rest in the knowledge that He has the rest of the day (and year) under control.